Why Don’t Powerful Women Get The Support They Need From Other Women?

I made a last minute trip to London this week to visit my elderly grandmother who is in the last stages of her life, and I wanted to make sure I come and see her, possibly for the last time. It made me a little sad but it also made me thankful for the role of such a strong matriarch in my family on my mother’s side.
Her name is Santosh Verma and she is 87 years old. It was also good timing seeing as though I am also in town at the same time England is commemorating Baronness Margaret Thatcher’s funeral. She died of a stroke last week at 87 years old.
She was the longest serving Prime Minister post-war in Britain, and there has never been a female Prime Minister since her.
It is inspiring to me to see such a strong iconic woman being celebrated and remembered for her time in office. But of course, it was and IS not without much criticism and negativity.
Many British woman complain that she “pulled the ladder up after her” and did not do her part in championing the cause of women.

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She wasn’t elected to office just to promote women’s issues, but to run the country. Not an easy feat, especially for her bearing the burden of being the first female PM. Many eyes were on her waiting for her to fall.
The fact is, she was elected to office in a time when women were not exactly in bondage. After all, she made it to 10 Downing Street, so that in itself is monumental for women.
If she did spend all her time promoting the cause of just women, there would have been plenty of other groups who could find reasons to criticize her the other way. Politicians are never going to please everyone and always do everything right. They are elected for their policies and if she stuck to those as she promised, then she did a damn good job!
She came into power inheriting a very bad economy. Sound familiar? (President Obama).
She was know for her “iron fist” and pull-no-punches attitude. It made me think of the role of women in power in many different sectors.
Just recently Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer was heavily criticized for making the ruling that all her employees would not be allowed to work from home, that they had to be in the office.
I think we still live in an age and mindset that women aren’t as capable as men. And if they do get into positions of power they are watched very carefully. The worst part is that women are criticized by their own kind!
Instead of being so quick to pull each other down, we should be setting the example for each other and the next generation of women. Margaret Thatcher didn’t go against women, and did not go out of her way to make sure women were left behind.
She championed the best policies and ruled in a way that helped her country; both women and men.
I am personally sick and tired of hearing criticism which then turns into gossip and bitchiness, what with our age of instant online media and blogs. Where are the women who are championing the likes of Marissa Mayer, Sheryl Sandberg, the Margaret Thatchers etc?
Just think, if Hilary Clinton were to be elected the first female President in the United states, what would the nation think of her differently to now as secretary of state? What extra pressures would women groups put on her? And realistically, the role of a country’s leader is to further their nation, not just one group.

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Margaret Thatcher I celebrate the fact that you were a strong woman who was known for her no-nonsense work ethic. I would much rather see women in power who are not easily swayed and can stand their own ground against the men, the critics and the unthinking majority.

I certainly hope to see more and more educated, witty, strong, stylish, elegant, accomplished women full of heart and grace take the lead in many industries and sectors. If we don’t stand up for each other, who will?

Margaret Thatcher quote:
“Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.” – on her election as prime minister in 1979.

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6 Comments

  1. J Harrison says:

    You’re partly referencing the discussion we had on twitter and I think your misunderstanding a great deal. Of course she wasn’t voted in to just look after women, I didn’t suggest she was, but your point was it was great to see her celebrated and the fact that your mission is to empower and inspire women and girls I would imagine that your joy at the celebration was around her being a woman. Why is it great to celebrate a woman who was so against equality, she was very right-wing and therefore not only bad for women but actually bad for anyone not white, male and rich, don’t let the fact that she was a woman lead you to believe her presence in Downing Street was positive for women or anyone besides people who believed in greed and selfishness as admirable qualities, in fact beyond her getting there which, I’ll agree was unprecedented and changed things in some ways around women and leadership, BUT her policies which were loathed by so many may actually be the reason there has been no female PM since, she may have ruined it for any potential female successors by being so toxic, her own party ejected her against her will, they’re all obviously shedding crocodile tears now, but they booted her out because she was a liability.

    If you think Reagan-era politics were great then I’m barking up the wrong tree and nothing I say will make any difference. The fact is feminism isn’t just about women, it’s about countering divisiveness, having a woman in power is only good for women if she believes in fairness and taking care of people that need taking care of, it’s a myth that anyone can achieve anything with enough hard work, especially in a country so riven with classism as the UK. What you think is an objective POV, about a woman you think people are being unfair to, is actually a point of view blind to some crucial points about feminism, maybe we just have different ideas of what that means, and fair enough, but trying to suggest that a uterus and a strong work ethic makes her a positive icon is misguided, a strong work ethic is only admirable to a point and when the hard work done is about dismantling welfare, disenfranchising the poor and in need, supporting murderous dictators etc. one wishes that maybe she’d been a bit more slack at her job. She didn’t need anyone standing up for her in life nor does she need you to do so in death, it’s not sour grapes that many women and feminists loathed her, a person’s gender means little compared to their intentions. Her policies left whole communities destitute and she saw it as a war, she saw it as a domestic Falklands, they were her own people.

    You seem to think that she should be celebrated by women for just being a woman in a position of power and yet not actually have to worry about what that woman did while she was in power, if you dig greed and right-wing politics then maybe she is an icon for you, but if not you may want to think again.

    This says it best: “Hannah Pool, writer

    Time may be a great healer but the idea of Thatcher as a feminist icon is as laughable as it is insulting to all those other great women who have fought tirelessly for equal rights. Even if we forget all the hideous things she did – the miners, the crushing of the unions, her stance against South African sanctions – that the woman who reportedly claimed she owed nothing to the women’s liberation movement is now being restyled as a feminist shows how little people understand what feminism is about.

    The overriding principle of feminism is equality, and those with power helping raise the bar for those without. This is the exact opposite of Thatcher’s “me, me, me” Conservatism.” Hannah Pool, writer

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/09/margaret-thatcher-no-feminist

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